Wishing Probolsky some Ethics This Christmas

We jump on Matt Cunningham of Red County here all the time, but ethically speaking, Matt always discloses if he has a business interest in stories he is posting about.  Virtually every post on the Disney-SunCl-Anaheim story, Matt disclosed he is/was a consultant for SunCal.  Its this sort of disclosure, plus allowing us lefties to comment freely on Red County, and his personal charm that makes Matt worthy of our respect.  Of course, politically he’s wrong, but he is worthy of respect.

Pollster Adam Probolsky has a post on Red County praising Congressman Ken Calvert (R-Corona), who represents portions of South County.  Calvert had an editorial in today’s OC Register on how he continues to fight for the 241 Extension in spite of the blockade set up by Rep. Loretta Sanchez. 

So what’s the problem?  Adam is a Republican touting a Republican Congressman.  And what Adam didn’t do was disclose he is a paid consulant for the Calvert for Congress campaign; he’s Calvert’s Pollster.

In fact I am a paid consultant to the Calvert for Congress campaign, I am his pollster. 

I generally do not add my client relationships that are publicly available such as for government agencies and campaigns.

Do I get to collect the bounty on myself?

  9 comments for “Wishing Probolsky some Ethics This Christmas

  1. Adam D. Probolsky
    December 20, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    There is nothing unethical about what I write publicly. I’ve either donated to, received renumeration from, raised money for. lobbied, am related to or otherwise call a friend every elected and appointed official, staff person, public affairs consultant or company that does business with government in OC. There you go. Use that as your guide when reading what I write. The exception is Senator Tom Harman, for whom I just have a general disdain.

  2. Anonymous
    December 21, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Probolsky is not connected to “every” elected official! Just those who are either indicted, convicted, or under investigation.

    I know many ethical electeds who have disdain for his type politics. I will now become a supporter of Tom Harman since I now know he is not a Probolsky type of politician.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    December 21, 2007 at 9:47 am

    Hmmm…failing to disclose a paid relationship with a (and an ethically questionable one at that) client you’ve written about positively and publicly is unethical. Just add a disclosure before your post like Matt does. But ethics and Republicans are sort of like mustard and strawberries.

    I’ll ask some of the journalists who read this blog regularly to chime in on whether or not a failure to disclose is ethical or not.  Please add your 2 cents.

    This post from About.com on Journalism, ethics and disclosure is a good guideline:

    Air any potential conflicts of interest right off the bat.

    You’re assigned to write a story about police corruption — but you’ve been dating a sergeant at the station. You’re writing a business story about drama at a television company — and the parent company of that network also owns your newspaper. You’re crafting a commentary on a pet cause — and have spent time aside from your journalism position volunteering for that cause.

    Bottom line: Somebody needs to know any details that could potentially be seen as a conflict of interest. You could be as honest as Abe, but a reader who learns of your connection to the story can jump to conclusions that draw the credibility of your entire publication into question. The easiest, simplest way to avoid this is full disclosure.

    To whom are you disclosing even the slightest connection you might have to a story, or the most remote potential conflict of interest? To your editor, if you’re employed full-time or as a freelancer. He or she might assign you to a different story, or may determine that no conflict exists. You might be asked to add a tagline or short explanation of disclosure in the text of your story or column. Don’t fear angering your editor, but instead look upon full disclosure as being the most honest journalist you can be. You will earn respect for your concern about the integrity of the publication.

    What if you are your own editor, perhaps writing on a blog? Take a step back and look at your connections, your situation, your story. If there is anything that gives you pause to take a second look, it’s probably worth disclosing to readers. This doesn’t have to be a situation where you make a mountain out of a molehill, but just succinctly explain that, for example, you are a paid member of an organization that you’re promoting, or that you’re dating the speechwriter of a favored candidate. Things like this get dug up sooner or later; it’s your job to beat critics to the shovel.

  4. Anonymous
    December 21, 2007 at 9:56 am

    Probolsky is a legend only in his own mind. What a pathetic hack!

  5. December 21, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    If Adam’s worked with/for someone, he has no business writing about it, at least not on OC Blog. Matt, as admirable as his disclosure was, shouldn’t have written about SunCal’s dealings with Anaheim, at least not on OC Blog. This is a question ustedes bloggers must ask yourself: if you want your blogs to earn respect from others, have some semblance of ethics. If people use their blogs to advance a personal agenda instead of commenting on stuff via their political angle, then the blog is no better than the Chandler-led Los Angeles Times: a propaganda rag.

  6. Dan Chmielewski
    December 21, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for chiming in Gustavo; if you will recall, Adam posted that Bill Hunt had been fired from OCSD when if fact, he resigned. At a minimun, he shou’d disclose before being outed. I am still waiting for someone to confirm Jon Fleischman has CRC Health as a client. Jon did the same thing Adam did.

  7. Joe Brown
    December 21, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    It’s about time some of my fellow Republicans clean wipe the party clean of unethical types, like Problesky and Clavert.

    It still amazes me that Republicans support this guy(Calvert) given his admiration of ladies of the night.

    I believe that any person who picks up some cracked addicted stret worker must have as much issues as the person being picked up.

    Sure he had excuses but since when did the Republican party get soft on personal responsibility.

  8. ethics police
    December 21, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Oh dear lord.

    It’s pretty clear that you should disclose before you write or else no one will believe anything you say, which I think may be the case already with Mr. Problem-esky.

  9. RHackett
    December 21, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Sure he had excuses but since when did the Republican party get soft on personal responsibility.

    The GOP Resolutions Committee just bounced a resolution asking Carona to resign.

    Apparently the smokescreen that Clinton should resign due to infidelity was just that….a smokescreen.

Comments are closed.